WAYNE CITY, IL – The Trifecta Motorsports team had waited several years for their day to come. They day they’d finally be standing in Victory Lane after taking the checkered flag in a national Midget series event. Friday at Wayne County Speedway was that day, and their new hired gun Zach Daum was their guy to bring them the trophy.
Once a single-car team from Tulsa, OK, that competed solely in the Chili Bowl Nationals every January, the Trifecta squad began taking on more races over the last five years in pursuit of one of their biggest goals – winning on the national stage.
Daum, the defending Xtreme Outlaw Midget Series presented by Toyota champion, moved into the seat of the 7U for the weekend after a hard crash last week at Millbridge Speedway and immediately fired-off with the team, posting a top-five finish Thursday night at Tri-City Speedway.
Friday night, Daum faced Wayne County – a place he’d won before, claiming the inaugural Jason Leffler Memorial in 2013. With a front-row starting spot for the 30-lap Feature, Daum survived a late-race charge from Series points leader Cannon McIntosh and a green-white-checkered finish to bag his second career Series victory and the biggest win of his team’s career.
“These guys got good stuff – Janky [Bobby Milliser, crew] and Steve [Carbone, car owner] work their asses off on this thing,” Daum, of Pocahontas, IL, said. “I’m just happy to get them a good result. I know they’ve been wanting to win a national race for a long time. I know this one means a lot to them.”
Daum earned an outside pole starting spot for the Toyota Racing Feature after the inversion draw and put a slide job on polesitter Hayden Reinbold to take the lead on Lap 12. He led through the halfway point, though fourth-starting Jade Avedisian was closing in on him quickly. She had just moved past Reinbold for second and was on a mission for the lead, hammering the top side of the 1/6-mile oval.
When Daum bobbled on the cushion getting into Turn 1 on Lap 17, Avedisian slid through the open door down low and took the lead. Daum crossed the Keith Kunz Motorsports #71 over down the backstretch and retook the position in Turns 3-4. Avedisian kept the high side momentum going, however, and got a big run to Daum’s outside one lap later.
She rounded Turn 4 and stuck the nose to Daum’s outside, and that’s when the two came together. Avedisian’s left-front tire met Daum’s right-rear and around she went, bringing out the caution and sending her to the rear while racing in a podium spot for the third time in the last four races.
“I was looking right to go back to the cushion, following the dirt back to [my] line, and I looked and looked and didn’t see her, and then we met,” Daum said. “I never saw her until she hopped over the tire and I thought I went airborne.”
Daum kept going after the contact and kept the lead for the restart. He took off and pulled out to a slim lead on the field, which was erased less than 10 laps later by McIntosh as he closed in on Daum, in pursuit of his fifth win of the season.
The two traded slide jobs until the action was paused with two laps remaining for a spinning Reinbold in Turn 4.
“We really didn’t dirty each other too bad,” Daum said. “Less than five-to-go for the win, it’s no-holds-barred at that point in time. Just get after it.”
The field was restacked for the restart; green-white-checkered finish upcoming. Under yellow, Daum could feel the pressure mounting with the points leader behind him, but he came prepared.
“I just tried to make sure I hit my line on the restart; I didn’t spin the tires, I got down the straightaway good, I entered Turn 1 good,” Daum said. “I figured if I entered 1 and didn’t get tight off of 2, [McIntosh] wasn’t going to make any more speed to slide me in 3.”
He got a great jump as the green was thrown and drove two clean circuits unchallenged to grab the victory – his first of the season with the Xtreme Outlaws.
Further back, McIntosh got shuffled back several spots on the restart after a bobble on the cushion. He was passed by Gavin Miller first, then several others after. One of which was Shane Cottle, who drove under three cars in front of him to take second from fifth in one lap.
“I knew if I stuck the corners pretty good, those guys were washing-up and I could get underneath them,” Cottle said. “We just needed another lap or so, and it would’ve been a good race between me and Zach.”
Cottle held on for second while Miller crossed in third – his third podium in the last five Series races. McIntosh slid back to sixth in a matter of two laps but was able to expand his points lead up to 122 over Miller with Avedisian and Chase McDermand further down in the running order.
Avedisian was unable to fully recover from her incident with Daum and drove back to 10th by the checkered. Meanwhile, McDermand had advanced from 19th up to 12th by the checkered, recovering from a broken rear-end in his Heat. In the end, he slipped back to fourth in the points standings, now 152 out of the lead.
The Xtreme Outlaw Midgets are back in action once more at Wayne County Saturday night, June 3, for the conclusion to the weekend in Illinois. Tickets will be on sale at the gate. If you can’t be there, stream all the action live on DIRTVision.
ABBREVIATED RESULTS (view full results)
Feature (30 Laps): 1. 7U-Zach Daum; 2. 86-Shane Cottle; 3. 97-Gavin Miller; 4. 5G-Gavan Boschele; 5. 26-Chance Crum; 6. 08-Cannon McIntosh; 7. 25K-Taylor Reimer; 8. 5-Chase Briscoe; 9. 23-Kevin Thomas Jr; 10. 71-Jade Avedisian; 11. 19M-Ethan Mitchell; 12. 40-Chase McDermand; 13. 97K-Cooper Williams; 14. 17B-Austin Barnhill; 15. 19AZ-Hayden Reinbold; 16. 44-Branigan Roark; 17. 7-Cody Beard; 18. 31K-Kyle Beilman; 19. 21K-Karter Sarff; 20. 08K-Brody Wake